Susan Grande, LMHC – is the Director of Our Space Family Mental Health Counseling Center in New York City. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with New York State, a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor with the National Christian Counselors Association and a National Certified Counselor with the National Board for Certified Counselors. She has a M.A. in Counseling from Nyack Alliance Graduate School of Counseling in Manhattan.She completed a Post-Masters Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counseling from Fordham University and has had two years of training in marriage and family therapy at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in Manhattan. She has training in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy from Eden Counseling Center in Virginia. Susan Grande currently counsels from her church, Living Word Community Church in Manhattan and from her office in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, where she supervises interns from her former grad school. Susan lives in Brooklyn with her husband of 41 years, has two sons and a grandson.
Rev. James C. Esposito (“Jim”) – is the Executive Director of Our Space. He has been serving in New York City for over 25 years, most notably as the regional director for Operation Blessing International until 2009 and was directly responsible for the distribution and coordination of over $45 million in cash grants for community programs and $250 million in gifts in kind during that period. He has been honored as one of the initial agencies to reach out to meet the physical and spiritual needs of 9-11 first responders as well as to reach out to the children who lost a parent in the line of duty that dreadful day. He is the founder of Loaves & Fishes Church Ministries, as association of churches, which encompasses the New York Christian Resource Center (a network of compassionate outreach ministries that devote their resources to care for the poor and disadvantaged), Our Space Youth and Community Development (developing and running out-of school programs including dally after school, summer day camp and community leadership club initiatives reaching kids in grades K-8), Camille’s Angels (ministering to families dealing with childhood cancer), Shepherd’s Daughters (a women’s empowerment network and arts ensemble), The Circle (communications and media outreach including an online community of 10,000 Christian leaders and intercessors) and a consulting practice that serves non-profits and professionals as they attempt to develop specialized resources in service of their communities. After 9/11 Jim co-founded a professional, clinical counseling practice serving displaced children in Lower Manhattan which offered a peer group therapy component that has become a recognized protocol for working with kids in crisis. Now called “Our Space Family Mental Health Counseling Centers,” there are offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan. He was instrumental in establishing an orphanage in India that rescues girls from sex trafficking and poverty. Jim is a Court Appointed Special Advocate, Vocational Readiness Instructor, has an MA in pastoral counseling, is an ordained minister of the Gospel, and is presently finishing up an accredited D.Min. degree. He has developed what he calls the A(5) program model used at the Our Space Clubhouse, a unique collaboration of several community agencies Jim brought together to serve the after school care and individual educational needs of a diverse population of immigrant families (most of whom do not speak English). The Our Space Kids program was recently selected by NASA to help advance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education to middle schoolers. Jim loves to read, write and teach; is a “Trekkie,” and lives with a rescued chihuahua that runs his household. Follow him on Twitter at: @jimespo.